Hope Talks "Love Love Love," Jason Mraz, Influences and More
Mon, 13 Dec 2010 10:01:16
On her debut single, Hope brings back a simple concept that the world certainly needs more of—love.
With "Love Love Love," Hope's voice careens with palpable power and passion through a pop landscape colored by lush harmonies and an understated R&B groove. She's got a classic sense of soul, but the girl also knows how to croon out a catchy hook. The song's elevated by Jason Mraz's lilting melody, and it's pure modern pop gold. You'll love it for sure…
Hot off a tour with Ryan Star and in the midst of working on her upcoming full-length release, Hope spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about "Love Love Love," working with Jason Mraz, the artists that shaped her and so much more.
How do songs typically begin for you?
For me, the writing process has been very driven by the music. It usually starts with the guitar or the piano. I could sit in a chord progression for 15 minutes to half an hour, just feel it out and listen to what it's telling me. Then I'll continue to write lyrics and melodies and add all of the other instruments. I take my time because music is really special to me. I never rush it. The music usually tells me what the song is about.
What's the story behind "Love Love Love?" Where are you coming from lyrically?
"Love Love Love" actually came about towards the end of the recording process. [Producer] Michael Blue and I sat down in the studio and we were talking about the record. I had some ideas for us bringing in a song that was a little more carefree that people could listen to and just enjoy without having to think too hard. We sat down with our guitars and wrote "Love Love Love" right there. We probably finished it in about an hour or so. We did a demo of it, came back in the studio the next day and finished it up. The lyrics to the song are about that feeling of loving or liking someone so much that you don't know what to do with yourself [Laughs]. It's just that moment. I compare it to the music. Being in this process of finishing up my first major label record, I'm incredibly happy to be able to get this music out. I'm literally out of my skin. I'm totally excited and in love with this point in time and this process with the music. It's a happy, carefree feeling.
Did you help come up with the concept for the song's music video?
Actually, the director came up with the treatment. When I got a copy of the first draft, I was completely floored. It was dead-on. She was very instrumental in that, and I went along with her direction. I'm so happy with the outcome.
How did Jason Mraz get on the song?
I got a random call that he could possibly be featured on the song. I was super excited! I found out Michael Blue had played the song for him, and he really loved it. They discussed him being featured on it, and he said, "Yes!" He actually recorded his part separately, but I was like, "This is perfect" once I heard the final mix. I'm a huge fan of his. I'm completely happy.
What's up with "Drive?"
The sentiment behind it involves a relationship where the girl basically feels like she's in the passenger seat of life and she's not really in control. She doesn't have the feeling of freedom to do what she wants. It's an encouraging song. It has a direct message that's positive to young girls and anyone who's going through that feeling. It encourages them to take the wheel and guide their lives to where they want to be.
Is storytelling important to you?
Absolutely! Telling stories is a huge part of it. In life, as I go through experiences I go through, I pick stories up along the way. They can end up in a song. Sometimes it's things that I see other people go through. It's all a story, and it's all a part of what I see through my eyes.
Which artists and records shaped you?
I really feel in love with Sade's Love Deluxe. It took my writing to a different level because I was able to hear songs on her record that talked about more things than just love. As a young writer, that's all that we think about [Laughs]. It helped me to grow up with my writing. A lot of Mariah Carey's music was very influential for me. Of course, Sting was huge. Seal is another artist I really enjoy listening to.
Have you heard Hope yet?